Officials Probe Sudden Death of Patton Oswalt's Wife, Michelle McNamara

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Michelle McNamara and Patton Oswalt.

The coroner's office is so backed up, the testing process has slowed considerably.

It might be months before officials know why writer Michelle McNamara died suddenly last week at the age of 46.

The noted true-crime author and wife of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt was found dead at the couple's home in Los Angeles on Thursday. Ed Winter, spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office, tells The Hollywood Reporter a cause of death likely will take months to determine because the medical examiner's office is so backed up with cases. Tests, including a toxicology report, will be conducted in an effort to determine the cause of death.

For the moment, Winter says there is no new information in the case. 

The Hollywood community, especially Oswalt's friends and collaborators, were shocked by the news of McNamara's death. She is said to have been free of known medical conditions, with no prior warning signs her health might have been in danger.

McNamara, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, was known for writing about real-life murderers and rapists. She founded the website True Crime Diary and also received a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Minnesota.

Since his wife's death, Oswalt, a prolific actor (The King of Queens, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), voice artist (Ratatouille) and comic (his latest Netflix special debuted last week), has remained mostly silent on Twitter, where he is an active voice.   

McNamara is survived by Oswalt and their 7-year-old daughter, Alice.